Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Under the Great Bowl of Sky

My daughter's farm and her 120 year-old house that was the homestead for this tract of land
 that we wound up buying part of and later made into a Nature Preserve under 
the auspices of the Little Traverse Conservancy. It is beautiful country, in many ways 
similar to where I grew up in New York State near the Mohawk River. 

Tonight's poem is by one of my summer discoveries, Canadian poet Roo Borson.

Blowing Clouds

Some say the sky is the last great wilderness.
But the last great wilderness 

has always been the one just outside this door.
Never since the birth of the first person

has there been such a wilderness.
That person was never born.

The flowers we call baby blue eyes
can't even see us, so small and blue,

their blueness is lost in the meadow. Some
say the sky

is the last great wilderness,
that never since the birth of the first person

has there been a wilderness
that person was never born into,

a door so small and blue
the flowers can't see into it.

Lost and not lost, at home in the marvellous,

in the meadow's unbreakable blue.

One day in the ravine near my house I looked up into a sky so blue
it was as if a door had opened into another world. When I looked down again I noticed that baby blue eyes were blooming everywhere in the as yet uncut grass. Facing the sky again, standing amongst those flowers, that hidden near-mirror symmetry seemed a formal demonstration, a proof, as it were, in a style of logical argument now long obsolete.

Roo Borson, Rain, road, an open boat, McClelland and Stuart, 2012, pages 35 and 36. This book was the winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize.

Let's take a brief look at some of the strategies of this poem. It is in two-line stanzas, except for the last line, which gives that line an emphasis. It does not have a metrical or stress pattern, but some fine attention has been paid to the linebreaks. Many of the poems in this book are partnered with, or interspersed with, paragraphs of prose relating, in some way, to the poem. It makes for a pleasant reading experience, and is a strategy I like very much here.

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